Middlemen of the Cameroons Rivers: The Duala and their Hinterland, c.1600-c.1960by Ralph A. Austen, Jonathan Derrick
Pub. Date: 05/28/2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book is about the Duala "middlemen", who functioned as intermediaries between Europeans and their own hinterland for over three hundred years. Originally traders in ivory, slaves and palm products, they then became colonial-era cocoa planters, and finally took a leading role in anti-colonial politics. One of their lasting advantages was European education, which they used to develop ideas about their ethnicity and its historical basis. The authors criticize these local beliefs about the past but indicate what they reveal about power and identity in this region and elsewhere in Africa.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. From fishermen to middlemen: the Duala inland and on the coast in the formative period, c.1600–1830; 3. Hegemony without control: the Duala, Europeans and the littoral hinterland in the era of legitimate/free trade c.1830–84; 4. Mythic transformation and historical continuity: Duala middlemen and German colonial rule, 1884–1914; 5. Middlemen as ethnic elite: the Duala under Grench mandate rule, 1914–41; 6. Between colonialism and radical nationalism: middlemen in the era of decolonization, c.1941–c.1960.
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